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August 30, 2018


Confidence is key

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Confident kids do better in class By Diane Schlindwein

Summer is waning and you've been out shopping for new shoes, clothes and backpacks. The school supplies are labeled, packed up and ready to go — but what about your kids? Chances are most children and teens are feeling a bit anxious about going back to class. Will math be more difficult this year? Will I fit in? What if someone tries to bully me? As a parent, it is your job to help your youngster study hard, stand up to adversity and, most of all, feel confident that he or she will succeed and do well in school. Keeping in mind that parents want their offspring to have a positive approach to education, here's what a few professionals have to say about building confidence in children as the new school year gets under way. Ask your children for their advice, instructs Rabbi Roger E. Herst, the author of "A Simple Formula for Raising Happy Children." "This is an exercise to encourage independent thought," he says. "Asking children for their advice lets them know you care about and respect their perspective, which tells them their voice matters. It also lets them know they are responsible for their opinions, which have impact on the real world, and not just in their minds." Our kids are amazing and it is important that they understand that, says veteran psychologist Dr. Sherrie Campbell. "They are amazing just because they are. They don't have to do anything to be amazing," she says. "They are a gift, deserve to be loved and treasured and need to be disciplined to think and believe in their own greatness. When we see them start having low self-esteem we must remind them nothing can stand the way of their greatness." Children need to know that they are both smart and significant, says Campbell, the author of "Loving Yourself: The Mastery of Being Your Own Person." "When we raise our children, we must raise them to see, believe in and use their intelligence. When our children hear they are smart, and we find every opportunity to reflect this to them through their own actions, we help them to believe it about themselves. When they believe they are smart they behave smartly, perform smartly, com-

Send your kids to school without anxiety. municate intelligently and they make wiser choices." "Your child needs to learn how to deal with life on his or her own terms," says Dr. George S. Glass, co-author of "The Overparenting Epidemic." "Circumstances change, communication varies and children respond differently as they grow older. This means that all of us will continue making mistakes. "Let your kids fail, beginning with the first time they fall down on the playground," he says. "They need to learn early on that life is full of bumps and bruises, and that they have the wherewithal to overcome them." "No one is perfect and having confidence doesn't come as a result of being perfect," says Campbell. "Confidence comes from learning to love themselves in their not-soperfect moments." They also need to be powerful, she adds. "It won't matter what people say about them because they know what they think of themselves." Still sometimes mistakes are a good thing, concludes Glass. Rough spots help children gain the confidence needed to succeed first in school and then, later in life. "Work with your kids on how they can learn from their mistakes," he instructs. Finally, be sure to let them take pride in their schoolwork and their creations, even if you think that they should be "better" or that you should help out. "It's their science fair," says Glass. "You had yours." n

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SchoolS in action

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By The Herald Staff

As another school year approaches, administrators and faculty prepare to welcome students back with great expectations. Once again, here's the Herald’s annual look at what’s ahead for the new school year.

Courtesy of Sachem Central School District

James Nolan arrives in Baldwin as interim high school principal.

New faces in Baldwin

James Nolan, the former superintendent of the Sachem Central School District, was named interim principal of Baldwin High School in July. Nolan will lead the high school for the 2018-19 school year to give the district “the time needed to properly search for a permanent replacement,” according to Dr. Shari Camhi, superintendent of the Baldwin Union Free School District. “He is highly-skilled, has an abundance of energy and is excited to work with our students, parents and faculty,” Camhi said in her letter. “He was described as a ‘beloved principal and superintendent,’ having developed strong relationships with students, families and staff.” He resigned as superintendent of Sachem, one of Long Island’s largest school districts, in 2016. Chris Vaccaro, president of the Sachem Alumni Association, called him "one of the most genuine, humble and principle centered individuals I have ever met. "He is regarded as one of the most sincere leaders in the history of Sachem Schools and that says a lot considering Sachem is known as being one of the biggest school districts in New York State," Vaccaro added. "His interpersonal skills and leadership qualities are second to none and that's evident in the countless alumni from Sachem who credit Jim with being a guiding light in their lives from an educational, social and emotional perspective. You can not get any better than him and Baldwin will undoubtedly understand this very quickly." He succeeds former principal Caterina Lafergola, who stepped down in June. The district also named Nicole Hunn the new principal of Steele Elementary School in June, replacing Lori Presti, who retired. Hunn has been serving as Director of K-12 Curriculum for the district since July 2017, and was an elementary assistant principal for the Garden City School District before that. “We are thrilled to see her transition to her new role as principal and continue to lead Steele Elementary on the path to excellence,” Camhi said in a statement. “We congratulate Ms. Hunn on her new appointment, and we are honored and excited to have her continue in her new position as part of the Baldwin family.” Before working with the Garden City

School District, she served as the elementary curriculum supervisor at Oceanside School District and taught grades 2, 3, and 4 in Oceanside. She also works as an adjunct professor in the Department of Education at Hofstra University. “It is with great joy and excitement that I introduce myself as the Elementary Principal of Steele School,” said Hunn. “The development of students’ academic, social, emotional and physical growth remains at the core of my guiding principles.” Over at Lenox Elementary School, Asheena Baez was named the new principal, replacing Bernice-Theresa Acevedo, who retired. Baez comes to Baldwin from the Beacon City School District in the Mid-Hudson Valley, where she served as principal for four years. “Her educational vision, coupled with her experience in literacy and social emotional learning, is a perfect fit for our school community,” Camhi said in a statement. “We are confident she will continue the hard work and level of excellence that has made Lenox Elementary the outstanding school it is today.” Before Beacon City School District, she worked with the New York City Department of Education for seven years as a special education teacher and one year as an assistant principal. “I am elated to have been afforded the opportunity to serve the Baldwin School District in the capacity of principal of Lenox Elementary,” Baez said in a statement. “I look forward to living, learning, and leading within the Baldwin community.” Also joining the district, Andrew DiNapoli, the former coordinator of English Language Arts for K-12 Education at the Glen Cove City School District, is now the director of curriculum. “We are pleased to have Mr. DiNapoli join our Baldwin family,” Camhi said in a statement in late July. “His background and philosophy on curriculum and instruction, coupled with his creativity and vision, will mesh perfectly with our schools’ goals and initiatives. We are confident he will continue to build on the outstanding programs and resources that have already been implemented here in our district.”

New faculty welcomes students in Freeport

The Freeport School District is kicking off the school year with new faculty and staff. On the first day of school, Sept. 4, Suzanne Chaves will start as the district’s new Director of Second Languages, along with Anthony Felice, as the district’s new Director of Security, Constance Malcolm-Grant as New Visions School Principal, Meg Sheehan as Columbus Avenue School Principal, Jessica Romero as New Visions School Assistant Principal and Christopher Porciello as J.W. Dodd Middle School Assistant Principal. Chaves comes to Freeport from the City School District of Albany, where she served as Publisher StuaRt RIChneR

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Suzanne Chaves is the newly appointed director of second languages. the bilingual ENL intake coordinator. She has 18 years of teaching experience, most of which focused on English as a New Language, but also Spanish and English in grade levels K-12. Chaves also has extensive experience as a facilitator of professional development in her most recent position, in addition to her prior work as a teacher trainer/bilingual resource specialist with both Questar III BETAC and MidHudson BETAC at Ulster BOCES. Throughout three decades as a distinguished member of the NYPD, Felice rose through the ranks to lieutenant commander of the Detective Squad. During his time of service, Felice was recognized with numerous awards and medals for his outstanding police work. Malcolm-Grant is no stranger to New Visions School, having served there for the past 16 years, beginning as a lead reading teacher until 2015, when she became assistant principal. She began her career in education in 1994, first as a third-grade teacher at PS 276 and then as a reading teacher and staff developer at Meyer Levin Junior High School, both in Brooklyn. Sheehan comes to Freeport having most recently served as director of the North Shore Montessori School in Stony Brook since 2010. Her experience in education prior to that includes serving as an administrator at West Side Montessori School, a teacher educator at Center for Montessori Education New York and administrative intern in the Three Village School District. A former graduate of Freeport High School, Romero most recently served as an administrator in the New York City school system for the past 10 years. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Queens College, a master’s degree from LIU Post, and an administrative degree from The College of Saint Rose. Porciello comes to the district from Junior High School 190 Russell Sage in Forest Hills, Queens, where he served as a general education teacher and ICT teacher of mathematics since 2011, in addition to serving as chairperson of the School Leadership Team. The new school year also brings program

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enhancements and facilities upgrades This year, breakfast and lunch programs are offered at no charge to all students. The district has met the requirements for the national Community Eligibility Program. However, any second meals or al la carte items are charged. The district has also added two more Advanced Placement courses including AP Statistics and AP Capstone Research bringing the number of Advanced Placement courses offered to 24. Pathways, multi-year program paths of academic and technical study along with exposure to aligned careers, will also begin this year. It links student learning to the knowledge and skills needed for future education and careers. Freeport High School students utilize their Naviance accounts to connect their academic achievement to their post-secondary goals. This will allow the district to rate if students are meeting the College and Career Readiness Standards.

Programming and resources upgrades in Oceanside

The Oceanside School District’s roughly $254 million budget for the upcoming school year includes a number of changes and additions to both programming and resources at the district’s 10 schools. Parents and students alike can expect a revamped website, which should allow for better lines of communication between school administrators, teachers and parents, as well as provide an avenue for students to complete assignments and homework. At the high school, the district is continuing its Chromebook initiative, with the goal of reaching a one-to-one implementation of the program during the upcoming year, providing a Chromebook for use in studies to every student. Also at the high school are new and redesigned course offerings in the subjects of engineering, computer science, business, engineering and the fine arts. Additionally, at the elementary school level, makerspace curriculum — which offers introductory hands-on experience in engineering and computer science — is being expanded to include first grade in addition to grades 2 and 3 where it was already being taught. Hands-on learning doesn’t start at firstgrade, however. Oceanside schools last spring celebrated the opening of their early childhood learning lab at the School No. 6 Kindergarten Center. The space, made possible Continued on page S-4

BALDWIN HERALD — August 30, 2018

What to expect for the 2018-2019 school year


What to expect for the 2018-2019 school year

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through a $250,000 state grant secured by State Sen. Todd Kaminsky, gives kindergarteners the opportunity to engage in activities that introduce them to a wide variety of subjects. Throughout all grades, Oceanside is embarking on aligning its science curriculum to match the Next Generation Science Standards, which is a multi-state series of guidelines intended to drum up interest in the sciences among students, as well as create a common set of standards for science teaching. In language arts, Fundations, language learning strategies created by Wilson Language Training, is being implemented for Grade 1, as well a guided reading opportunities. Additionally, in response to requests by parents and teachers, the proposed budget includes the hiring of security monitors to patrol the exterior of the elementary school buildings during school hours, and the implementation of a real-time camera surveillance and alert system to support after-hours programs.

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Facilities improvements and programming initiatives in Island Park

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Island Park students can expect a handful of new programs and building improvements made possible through its nearly $40 million budget, as well as grants and bonds for the upcoming school year. The district is introducing science programs tailored to different grade levels with options for engineering and technology education for middle school students. Additionally, through a $5,000 grant, Lego robotics programs are being expanded to lower elementary grade levels. To support career preparation, Island Park’s guidance counselor is spearheading Naviance, a new program that will help students grades 6 through 8 explore a variety of career opportunities, as well as set them on a path to success in their chosen fields through goal-setting strategies. In regards to the building improvements, roofs at both the middle and elementary schools have been replaced, and the district is working to install ground-level flood and vent barriers through a $1.8 million Federal Emergency Management Agency approved hazard mitigation project. Work is scheduled to begin this September. And finally, over the summer new pilings

were installed under the Warwick Road side of the Francis Hegarty Elementary School to shore up the building’s foundation in the event of additional floods.

Long Beach supplements curriculum with new activities

Looking ahead to the start of school, the Long Beach School District will see some changes. While students can say goodbye to the Forensics Club, three new clubs will be added to the high school’s list of co-curricular activities, including an Anime Club, a Chess Club and a Mindfulness Club. An uptick in funds will allow for more stipends for club advisers as well as supplies for the drama and musical productions. Students and parents can also expect to see a new culinary arts classroom in the high school, as well as a new storage shed for the Nike program on Lido Boulevard and new first-floor windows at West Elementary School. Additionally, the district will put a focus on security-related projects, including installing new doors and locks at East Elementary School and the middle and high schools, constructing a new interior cafeteria wall at the high school and building a new security vestibule at the Nike Work-Based Learning Center. At the elementary level, new approaches to homework will be implemented through an initiative called “WRaP” to better support student learning. The acronym stands for “Wonder, Read and Play.” Traditional homework will be replaced with nightly reading, along with activities that promote play. The district hopes to encourage positive, engaging activities at home that will increase student achievement. A team of teachers and staff members have been working through the summer to prepare a menu of activities to support reading at home this coming September. The homework change will be discussed at the Sept. 27 Board of Education meeting. According to the U.S. Department of Education, the more students read for fun in their spare time, the higher they score in reading assignments, which the district hopes will result in greater achievement in all subjects. Students are encouraged to discuss their books and reading assignments, and write short reflections about their favorite characters, for example. Teachers will also create Continued on page S-5

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optional activities for students who want more practice, and parents are encouraged to engage in activities with their children to support curiosity. Some classes may create “Wonder Walls” to share student learning, or hold “curiosity conventions” to talk about subjects learned about through inquiry-based activities. The district is partnering with Hofstra University and Scholastic Books to support this new initiative and will evaluate the results.

Learning comes into focus in Rockville Centre

Back in session for another year, Rockville Centre schools are set to continue providing initiatives designed to enrich students’ learning experience while also keeping them safe. Since 1991, the Rockville Centre Education Foundation has funded initiatives proposed by district teachers and school administrators to expand educational opportunities. It donated nearly $68,000 to fund 16 grants for the upcoming school year. About $28,000 of the money goes toward funding a third year of South Side High School’s Z-Space lab, which will once again allow students to use virtual-reality computers to explore a variety of subjects. Using 3-D glasses, students can immerse themselves in pre-made or teacher-created programs. The Education Foundation agreed to fund the interactive technology for three years, and the district will take on the costs of future curriculum, software updates and professional development. New this year, nearly $8,500 will go toward the purchase of Little Bits building sets in each of the five elementary schools. The kits include magnetic pieces that students can click together, allowing them to build and invent and reinforce a district philosophy to encourage handson learning through problem-solving. At South Side Middle School, about $6,000 was allocated to improve 3-D printers, and $6,700 was earmarked for a camera in the auditorium to allow students to create live and recorded televised feeds of school events. Hewitt Elementary School is set to add some balance ball chairs for flexible seating and improved focus, and students at Watson Elementary School will be learning about mindfulness this year as a way to boost selfesteem and self-awareness. Much of the district’s curriculum will remain the same, school officials said. Returning this

year is South Side High School’s coding course, which was offered for the first time last year. About 60 students had taken the class in 201718, and more than 100 are enrolled in it for this year, according to South Side Principal John Murphy. “It proved to be hugely successful and popular,” he said of the class. “We’re looking for ways to immerse computational problem-solving, which is really what it’s teaching, into separate subject areas where coding is a skillset — much like writing, much like reading.” Murphy added that the school would also be hosting Relay For Life for a second year after holding its first-ever event last June. It will take place in the first week of June next year.“It was a real community event,” he said.“It really gathered people together at a very busy time of the year. It was an exciting, energetic event … and was a huge success.” In addition to curriculum and programs, the district this summer began bolstering security at the entrances of the district’s seven schools. Visitors of the schools will notice new procedures and entrance layouts this year, including anterooms, or spaces that act as a buffer zone before guests can enter the rest of the building. In the room, guests will be asked to pass over identification to receive a visitor pass. Once they are cleared, they will be allowed to proceed to their destination. The Rockville Centre Board of Education approved these measures in February, exactly two weeks after a gunman opened fire on students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., killing 17 people and injuring 14. Schools Superintendent Dr. William Johnson said at the time that the incident accelerated the district to take action on security enhancements. The administration and staff is mainly unchanged, school officials said, with the exception of Thomas Ricupero’s planned retirement at the end of October. Ricupero has worked for the district for 39 years and spent the last 15 years as principal of Francis F. Wilson Elementary School. His resignation was approved by the Board of Education at a meeting on Aug. 14. The district said in a statement that it would name an interim principal at Wilson for the start of the school year. A formal search for a permanent principal, with input from parents, teachers and staff, would take place after that. n

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BALDWIN HERALD — August 30, 2018

Ben Strack/Herald

Students can once again use virtual reality computers in South Side High School’s Z-Space Lab, which the Rockville Centre Education Foundation funded for a third year.


August 30, 2018 — BALDWIN HERALD

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